The Missouri in the Civil War Message Board

Re: Parsons
In Response To: Death of General M.M. Parsons ()


My question has nothing to do with Parsons' death, but do you have any information as to what Parsons was doing and what units were with him at the time of the fight at first Boonville?

I've only seen some vague comments about him being in the Syracuse/Florence or Tipton area and Price intending for him to organize and make a juncture with Jackson's men at Tipton (rather than Boonville.) Supposedly he was called up by Jackson in sufficient time to arrive for the fight, but did not reach the field in time. Brooksher's book mentions him being in "Pettis City" but I've been unable to determine what location that actually was. I can't find it on old maps or topos so I suspect he meant Pettis County. I'm not inclined to believe he could really reach the field in time and Jackson understood this, especially since Marmaduke was expected to command.

At any rate, it doesn't add up that Marmaduke was in command at Boonville while the ranking officer was so nearby as Tipton. My guess is that he must have still been gathering his command elsewhere (in Pettis and Morgan County) intent on reaching Tipton once they were sufficiently collected and organized. Therefore he was unable to effect a juncture until after the fight. Apparently he arrived in time to see the flight from south of town.

The idea that he was still collecting his men is supported by the future guns of Guibor's battery at the time being in the hands of caretaker non-arty company and not yet provided with implements. (Since Guibor and Barlow would join with the retreating MSG around June 23 and be given command of the battery.)

A "Capt. Kelly" is mentioned as the only organized force available to Jackson and held in reserve. I suspect this was actually the future Col. Kelly of Parsons' command and that his force was either at Tipton or was called up in a fashion that prevented their participation in Boonville. (Or perhaps Jackson did not feel it proper for Marmaduke to command them in the absence of their senior and ranking officer?)

My other supposition is that any organized cavalry companies Parsons had at the time would have been picketing east of Tipton in case Lyon advanced overland rather than on the river road. That would have prevented Marmaduke's men at Boonville from becoming bottled up if Lyon had not come directly down the river.

Yes, I admit this is at best all just guesswork and reading between the lines trying to make sense of the surrounding scraps.


Messages In This Thread

Death of General M.M. Parsons
"Massacre of General Parsons"
Re: "Murder of General M.M. Parsons"
Re: "Murder of General M.M. Parsons"
Re: "Murder of General M.M. Parsons"
Re: "Murder of General M.M. Parsons"
Damages negotiated for death of Parsons
"Parsons Murder"
Lawsuit against Mexico for Parsons' death
Parsons' death claim paperwork location
John C. Moore on date of Parson's death
A July date of death, additional details on death
U.S. Supreme Court Case related to Parsons death
Re: U.S. Supreme Court Case related to Parsons dea
Re: Parsons
Re: Parsons